Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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344                              THE GENTILES

asserting that it is so stated in their Belhs, or Books of the
Laws, which have been given to them by Brahma.

I then tried them on the nature of their Deiitas, but
their explanation was very confused. These Gods consist,
they said, of three kinds, good, bad, and indifferent. Some
of the learned believe that the Deiitas are composed of fire,
others that they are formed of light, and many are of
opinion that they are Biapek;^ a word of which I could ob¬
tain no clearer explication than that God is Biapek, that our
soul is Biapek, and that whatever is Biapek is incorruptible
and independent of time and place. There are Pendets again
who, according to my learned host and his companions,
pretend that De'iitas are onlj' portions of the divinity ; and
lastly, others consider them as certain species of distinct
divinities, dispersed over the surface of the globe.

I remember that I also questioned them on the nature
of the Lengue-cher'ire} which some of their authors admit;
but I could elicit no more from them than what I had
long before learnt from our Pendet; namely, that the
seeds of plants, of trees, and of animals do not receive a
new creation ; that they have existed, scattered abroad
and intermixed with other matter, from the first creation
of the world ; and that they are nothing more or less, not
only in potentiality, as it is called, but in reality, than
plants, trees and animals entirely perfect, but so minute
that their separate parts only become visible when being
brought to their proper place, and there receiving
nourishment they develop and increase; so that the
seed of an apple- or pear-tree is a Lengue-cherire, a small

^ For vydpaka (Sanskrit), all-pervading.

^ Linga, or spiritual body, of the Bhagavad Gila, or Sacred Lay, the
great Sanskrit philosophical poem. Bernier here alludes to the
doctrine of the immortality of the soul and the transmigration of the
soul, after the material body formed in the womb has been dissolved
into its primary elements after death. The spiritual body {linga),
formed of the finer elements of matter, then accompanies the soul in
all its migrations, until the latter has attained to nirvana, or absorp¬
tion into the Supreme Creator.
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